[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
[Clip: Pete Seeger, “Little Boxes.”]
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes all the same
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same
That was old-style Lefty Pete Seeger mocking the suburbs back in 1963. The suburbs, according to the songwriter (Malvina Reynolds, another old-style Lefty), were just breeding farms for the bourgeoisie, a wasteland of conformist middle-class values: doctors, lawyers, golfers, and—oh my God!—nuclear families, who drank their martinis dry and sent their kids to summer camp.
Pete’s recording of the song was a big hit. There was a market for mocking the suburbs in the sixties: not just songs, but movies like The Graduate and novels like those of Updike and Cheever. The Boomers were looking for something more exciting, more spiritual, more life-affirming that the routine drudgery of middle-class life.
This being America, there was of course a race element to anti-suburbanism. The people in those little boxes Pete Seeger was sneering at were far too white; everyone understood that.
This was the Civil Rights era, so government action followed. Five years after Seeger’s hit, in 1968, the Lyndon Johnson administration gave us the Fair Housing Act, bringing the power of the feds to bear on race discrimination in those lily-white suburbs. Federal agencies were required, quote: “affirmatively to further” the purposes of the Act, which included diversifying residential neighborhoods.
Fast-forward 47 years. Someone in the Obama administration plucked those words out of the Fair Housing Act and brought forth the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, ordering the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to withhold federal funds from localities that weren’t sufficiently diverse.
Some shameless cynics like our own Steve Sailer suggested that Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing—which, Steve says, sounds like something Daffy Duck might say—that AFFH was really just a scheme to move poor blacks out of the inner cities. This would open up more prime urban real estate for gentrification, for the benefit of hip young Obama-voting urban types with outlooks formed by TV shows like Friends and Sex in the City; and perhaps, coincidentally of course, perhaps also to the benefit of urban real-estate developers like Obama’s pal Tony Rezko.
The poor blacks being shunted out of the inner cities would have to go somewhere. So where? To the suburbs, of course. Suburbanites might grumble at having inner-city blacks and their problems dumped on them; but hey, suburbanites are mainly racist white people with way too much white privilege, so it serves them right.
Well, July 23rd the Trump administration announced they are dropping the AFFH rule on the grounds that, in the words of HUD Secretary Ben Carson:
Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs.
HUD revokes Obama-era rule designed to diversify the suburbs, AP (Fox) July 23, 2020
Under the AFFH rule, said Carson, local jurisdictions were forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting, to very little practical effect.